One night after a tough 15-0 loss, the Gastineau Channel Little League softball Majors All-Stars edged District 1 champion Nunaka Valley 3-2 Saturday evening at Melvin Park.
The win evened the best-of-five series at one game apiece in the 2010 Alaska Little League Softball Championship for 11-12-year-olds. The winner of the series will advance to the Western Regional tournament, which Nunaka Valley won last year before finishing sixth in the world in the Little League World Series.
"Yesterday was a tough day for a lot of the girls and we had a nice conversation about it today," Juneau manager Randy Bates said of his team's turnaround. "The girls brought their game with some focus, Erica Maiquis pitched strikes, they played stellar defense and their bats came alive tonight."
Nunaka Valley struck first in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run double from Jacynne Augafa for an early 2-0 lead for the team from Anchorage.
Juneau fought back in the top half of the second as Makayla Harp led off with a triple into the left-field corner. Elle Gray put GCLL on the board with a two-out, RBI single to score Hart. Juneau tied the game later in the inning on a wild play coming off an Emily Lukshin bunt, followed by a pair of Nunaka Valley errors that allowed Gray to score all the way from first base.
Juneau took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth after Shelby Eggen drew a walk. Gray came on as a pinch runner and an errant pickoff throw to first base rolled into the right-field corner, allowing her to easily score the go-ahead run.
GCLL held on to its lead and secured the win behind a complete-game pitching performance from Erica Maiquis, who struck out five batters while scattering four Nunaka Valley hits throughout the game.
Juneau will take on Nunaka Valley today at 5 p.m. at Melvin Park.